“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” - JFK

There is now an increasing number of people looking into becoming a private home tutor!  Home or private tutors are able to help students of all ages, whether it be primary school, secondary school, university, and even adult students, with a wide array of subjects. Private tutorials or group classes taught by a private tutor can take the specific needs of each student into account, whether it be for French lessons, Guitar, Yoga or Mathematics

Learning happens at all ages and adults are no exception! Interests and passions develop in time and adults have the opportunity now more than ever to have the convenience and devote the time to develop these new interests and passions!  Whether they choose private tutorials or group tutorials, online learning,  at the office or home, and for any array of subjects and interests, tutoring can be arranged and accommodated for the adult students convenience. Adult classes are offered for many subjects, interests and hobbies that one can imagine!

Teaching methods may need to be adjusted when teaching adults instead of those used when tutoring kids with their mathematics homework or year end review. As a tutor you may need to consider different ways or methodologies to optimise adult learning strategies!

In this series of articles, we will be looking into how you can start teaching adults,  differences between teaching adults and children, some of the advantages of teaching adults, the need for teaching strategies for adult students specifically, and lastly how to teach tutorials to adults in the workplace.

Becoming a Tutor for Adults

In order to provide academic support and tutorials to adults, you may need to specialise and concentrate your studies to have the best knowledge and proficiency, and to consider becoming a freelance teacher/tutor.    If you are already a tutor or an experienced teacher, you may already feel confident to start teaching even some of the most qualified students. There are numerous benefits to teaching adults as a freelance tutor, and we will examine some of these.

How do you become a freelance tutor?
A teacher can easily retrain and become a freelance teacher/tutor. (Source: 089photoshootings)

Many teachers and tutors choose to become freelancers, given greater flexibility and independence, thereby motivating more and more people to choose this as a career.  Becoming an adult tutor is one of the best options as a freelancer.

Teaching older students such as high school, university students, and adults is much easier if you’re passionate about what you are doing.

A passion for teaching, a motivation to share your knowledge and expertise is at the core of successful private tutoring and the satisfaction of seeing your students progress is the ultimate challenge as well as reward . Whether you choose to tutor for exam prep, for AP literature or language tutor in French, or maybe to help students review classes during the school holidays, you can choose exactly what, where ,and how you want to teach!

Passion and experience will serve you well as a tutor for adults.   To be an effective tutor, you  will need to have self-confidence and a great understanding and proficiency in your subject or speciality, in order to best serve your students and offer the very best tuition and advice. Adult students have greater more sophisticated complex  questions than perhaps children may,  so you need to be well prepared.

As a freelancer, you can offer private tutorials at a student’s home or even provide lessons for businesses, whether it's one on one or in groups sessions, it's your option .   Highly experienced private tutors have the opportunity to spend more time teaching to different age ranges thereby broadening classes to adult students eventually. 

Some Differences in Education for Adults and Children

There are quite a lot of differences between teaching private tutorials to children and to adults,  even if the fundamentals of teaching remain the same, its in the finer details where the differences are most apparent. Whether you’re looking to improve speaking skills, gain some specific knowledge to help find a job, or just improve confidence in your communication skills, there are plenty of great reasons adult students are in need of private tutors and look specifically for adult education programs to help them.

What is the difference between teaching adults and children?
For your students of every age, it's important to ensure your classes are engaging and fun. (Source: rawpixel)

Teaching a child is fundamentally different than teaching an adult.  Younger students are more immature, unpredictable, and can act out spontaneously, with less attention spans and self control.   This can sometimes force the tutor to have to change or adjust their lesson plan or how they approach teaching on a given day,  in order to accommodate their  students level of maturity and comprehension.

Adults are far more likely to ask complex questions and can more easily have greater exchange of dialogue and concepts,  thereby relying on their tutor to provide far more comprehensive challenging lessons. It can be a more rewarding career teaching adult students for these reasons.

For example, an English tutor can choose a wider broader range of topics for study and discussion with an adult student given their life experiences and level of maturity. This can make the lessons more interesting, complex and challenging, not only for the student but the tutor.   In fact, the greater complexity and critical thinking ability of older students which can make the class more interesting and engaging, is one of the reasons that one on one tutoring with adults can be so rewarding.

This can also be said for teaching Mathematics and Sciences. Complex topics like physics, algebra, calculus or even tutoring economics or trigonometry can be more challenging for the tutor and thereby prove more motivating.

Discover online teaching jobs here on Superprof.

The Advantages of Tutoring Adult Students

“To teach is to learn twice.” - Joseph Joubert

Although the fundamental of teaching approaches remain the same, as outlined there are  a number of advantages teaching adults instead of teaching children.  The relative ease of teaching adults are the reason so many businesses have additional training courses, to help them bring their employees up to speed with the most pertinent and critical skills to help them advance. Adults will often also seek additional tutoring to remain competitive in their fields,  personally and overall for their careers.  

What are the best teaching approaches for adults?
Teaching adults differ from teaching children, but the goal remains the same, learning! (Source: Free-Photos)

Adults choose when to get their private tutorials at their own convenience and desires. Adults are more motivated, attentive  and focused than a child may be who has spent the whole day studying in a classroom. The relationship or rapport between the tutor and the adult student can be easier, more fluid and natural, thus allowing for more comprehensive lessons.

Adult students are better at assimilating new complex concepts than a child can. 

Some key advantages of teaching adults are:

  • Ease of learning
  • Faster assimilating and building on new concepts
  • Curiosity with Critical thinking
  • A genuine motivation and interest in progressing
  • A passion for what they choose to learn
  • A real dialogue exchange and communication with the tutor
  • Etc.

Tutors of adults can foster and create a more constructive relationship with their students  through deeper exchanges regardless of the subject they choose to teach.  Whether they’re teaching French, Physics, Algebra or IT, the tutor can delve more deeply into their subject or speciality when teaching their adult students.

Adults are generally more respectful in the classroom, and are more apt to listening coaching and follow the guidance of a tutor.

Some Advice for Teaching Tutorials in Businesses

Providing private tutoring in businesses is becoming increasingly more common.   Whether you offer general classes or specific skills such as team-building exercises and working with individuals or groups, any subject or skills can be taught in a business.

How do you get into workplace training?
Teaching adults in a business environment can be dynamic and challenging. (Source: rawpixel)

Tutoring for a business or company goal is to give a group of professionals a new skill or knowledge, that will benefit and  enhance their working lives.   A lot of businesses will find tutors that can provide instruction  and training for small groups of their staff in order to foster or improve employee skills and efficiencies, making them more competitive individually and collectively.

In most cases, these businesses will look to tutoring companies to help them find a tutor teacher.  However, there is nothing from stopping the best tutors from working as a freelancer or independent educator trainer and scheduling lessons and courses at a company or organisation.

As you can see, teaching adults can be a rewarding career,  that can be both challenging and stimulating at the same time. At times a tutor will find themselves faced with teaching challenges, and with students that may need to get themselves used to the idea of attending a class again, something they may not have done for quite some time.

If you're interested in teaching adults, you can create your profile on Superprof quickly and easily. You just have to state what subjects you wish to teach and where you will teach them. This will allow potential students and businesses to find you readily and easily.

You can also teach online tutorials via webcam using software such as Skype. This is a useful way to save on travel costs and allows you to offer tutorials at a more competitive rate to students.  The possibilities of how you want to tutor will be entirely up to you!

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.